Yemen conflict: A devastating toll for children | At a glance: Yemen | UNICEF

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At a glance: Yemen

Yemen conflict: A devastating toll for children

© UNICEF Yemen Video
Since the conflict escalated in March 2015, UNICEF has increased its response and provided lifesaving supplies and services across the country including in some of the most hard to reach areas.


Latest: Drinking water systems under repeated attack in Yemen


The conflict in Yemen has taken a devastating toll, particularly on the most vulnerable members of society: children.

Even before the outbreak of conflict in March 2015, Yemen faced challenges from widespread poverty, food insecurity and lack of health services.

But now, more than 22 million people – and nearly all children – are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. The country’s infrastructure has been destroyed and its health services crippled.

More than 6,000 children have been killed or injured in the violence – an average of about five children every day since the conflict began. Even after the conflict ends, the effects of malnutrition – stunted growth and delayed cognitive development – may linger. In the worst cases, it is fatal.

The number of out-of-school children – already high before the conflict – has reached more than 2 million. Education for these children cannot wait.

The country’s water and sanitation infrastructure has also been ravaged, posing serious health risks. Restrictions on the importation of fuel have disrupted the delivery of water to millions of people in one of the most water-scarce countries on Earth.

More than half the health facilities in Yemen are not functioning due to damage or a lack of operating budget and staff.

On 6 October 2016, health authorities in Yemen confirmed a cholera outbreak, posing a major health risk to the population – especially children – given the crumbling health system in the country. Suspected cholera and acute watery diarrhoea have affected over 1 million people, with children under 5 years old accounting for a quarter of all cases.

UNICEF is working hard to alleviate the effects of the conflict on children and families by delivering lifesaving services and supplies, including health, nutrition and vaccination services for mothers, newborns and children; preparing for potential disease outbreaks; expanding treatment services for children with malnutrition; and supporting displaced families through provision of safe water and hygiene facilities.

UNICEF and its partners urgently need to secure funding. Yemen’s needs are great to provide the most basic health, education and protection services in 2018.

>> Learn more about the humanitarian situation for children in Yemen
>> What the battle for Hodeidah means for Yemen's children: 8 things you need to know
>> Report: If not in school: The paths children cross in Yemen


Watch: Videos from UNICEF Yemen

Millions of children on the brink of starvation

>>  See more videos from UNICEF Yemen


Meet: Children and families affected by the crisis

a child battling malnutrition

a determined student

a child fighting cholera

>>  Read more stories and perspectives from Yemen


Read: The latest press releases and statements


Drinking water systems under repeated attack in Yemen
SANA’A/NEW YORK, 1 August 2018 – “Attacks against civilian facilities and services are unacceptable, inhumane and in breach of the basic laws of war.

Access to water continues to be jeopardized for millions of children in war-torn Yemen
AMMAN, 24 July 2018 – “UNICEF deplores in the strongest terms yet another attack on vital and lifesaving water systems in Yemen.

EU–UNICEF partnership enables Community Health Workers to provide a healthy start #ForEveryChild in Yemen
SANA’A, 03 July 2018 – The European Union and UNICEF are jointly launching a programme in Yemen, ensuring better access to health services for young children and mothers through community and household level interventions.

“Peace is the only way forward”
GENEVA/NEW YORK/AMMAN/SANAA, 3 July 2018 – “The relentless conflict in Yemen has pushed a country already on the brink deep into the abyss.

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore calling for the protection of children in Hodeidah and throughout Yemen
NEW YORK, 12 June 2018 – “As Hodeidah faces the threat of an assault, I am extremely concerned about the impact it will have on children in this port city and beyond.

In Yemen, children’s education devastated after three years of escalating conflict
SANA'A, 27 March 2018 – Nearly half a million children have dropped out of school since the 2015 escalation of conflict in Yemen, bringing the total number of out-of-school children to 2 million, according to a UNICEF assessment released today.

3 million children born into war in Yemen
SANA’A, 16 January 2018 – More than 3 million children have been born in Yemen since the escalation in violence in March 2015 according to a new UNICEF report.

>> See the latest from the UNICEF press centre



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